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'This is about being relevant and listening to society' - Kiwi confectionery to be renamed over diversity concerns

Tip Top and Pascall are joining the ranks of global companies renaming their products over racial insensitivities.

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Both brands are removing the term "Eskimo" from their products. Source: 1 NEWS

The word "Eskimo" will soon be scrapped from the ice cream Eskimo Pies, along with the packaging’s image.

In a statement, Tip Top director Ben Schurr said the word "Eskimo" had had a change in meaning since the ice creams first hit our shelves in the 1940s.

“We have been considering renaming this product and removing the Eskimo character from the packaging for a while now, so we’re making plans to put the changes in place over the next few months.”

Pascall lollies Eskimos are also to be renamed.

Pascall Eskimos lollies to be renamed over diversity concerns

The sweets’ parent company, Mondelēz New Zealand, told 1 NEWS the change “reflects the business’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion”.

It also said the name change process was already underway and will be rolled out as soon as possible.

The Eskimo Pie has been in Kiwi freezers for 80 years, while the lollies hit the shelves 65 years ago.

Branding expert Jill Brinsdon said as society’s thinking shifted, companies must follow suit.

“There’s been rumblings around any kind of name which has any form of racist overtones, or undertones, to it for many, many years,” she said.

Eskimo Pie owner to change its 'derogatory' name in latest brand to review racially charged marketing

Worldwide, numerous high-profile brands have begun to rethink their marketing in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In Australia, Nestle is renaming its Red Skins and Chicos sweets.

"Redskins" is a derogatory term used to describe Native Americans, and "chicos" can be an offensive term for Latin Americans.

In a statement, Nestle said the names were out of step with its company values, which are rooted in respect.

Brands in the United States are also coming under fire, including Uncle Ben’s Rice and Aunt Jemima’s Pancake Mix and Syrup.

PepsiCo Inc, which owns the Aunt Jemima products, said it would change both the name and image used.

Uncle Ben's rice among latest food brands to review racially charged logos

The logo features an African American woman, the name Aunt Jemima coming from a minstrel show character.

Some say her picture is rooted in the stereotype of black women working as servants for white families.

Uncle Ben’s Rice took to Facebook to tell customers the company knows it has "a responsibility to help put an end to racial injustices".

It said it would change its branding and visual identity but has not yet said when the changes would be implemented.

Ms Brinsdon believed though making drastic changes would be challenging for brands with longstanding equity, companies would continue to reevaluate their image.

“I have no doubt that this is not a knee-jerk reaction. This is about being relevant and listening to society.”

She also said it’s important organisations back up the changes made to products by reflecting the same values within the company.

“Otherwise, it’s window dressing. They need to look at their corporate culture, look at what they value corporately, and make sure that’s aligned with the decisions they’re making on their packaging.”